By Bridgetta Anderson

The Duchess of Cambridge is expecting her third child.

And once again, the announcement has been made that she won't be performing Royal duties, due to suffering from Hyperemesis Gravidarum. 

So what is Hyperemesis Gravidarum?

Around 10,000 women a year suffer from HG, a condition which at its most extreme can leave sufferers with a torn oesophagus, burst blood vessels, eroded tooth enamel and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

It can result in vomiting up to 50 times a day and, in extreme cases, hospitalisation to combat dehydration and so that nutrition can be given intravenously.

How do women get it?

There is a genetic element - you're 30% more likely to suffer if your mum or sister did - but doctors are not sure why some women get it and others don't.

Sadly if you've had it once, it's likely to recur with subsequent pregnancies, which causes many sufferers to delay, or even decide against, having more than one child.

Can it harm the baby?

There could be lifelong complications associated with severe malnourishment during the early weeks of pregnancy, so it's important to seek help as soon as possible.

Losing more than 5% of pre-pregnancy weight might require nutritional intervention.

How should it be treated?

Anti-sickness drugs are most effective if started as soon as possible and can be used in combination to find the most effective way of reducing sickness in each case.

The Pregnancy Sickness Support helpline (024 7638 2020) also offers a national support network of trained volunteers who are peer-matched so that they can offer more appropriate advice.


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